Coppabella Blacksmith Shop, Stables and Burial Plot | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Coppabella Blacksmith Shop, Stables and Burial Plot

Item details

Name of item: Coppabella Blacksmith Shop, Stables and Burial Plot
Other name/s: Coppabella Station, Coppit Billy
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Manufacturing and Processing
Category: Blacksmithy
Location: Lat: -35.7435665965 Long: 147.7253848490
Primary address: , Rosewood, NSW 2652
Parish: Coppabella
County: Goulburn
Local govt. area: Greater Hume
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Albury And District
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT111 DP748438
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
 RosewoodGreater HumeCoppabellaGoulburnPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

Coppabella Station is of State heritage significance as the first station in the Tumbarumba region and one that played a central role in the society of the region. The blacksmiths shop, stables and graves date to this initial period of occupation and display traditional and now rare building construction techniques - based on hand hewn timbers, bark and corrugated iron. Constructed c.1863 the blacksmith workshop, stable and graves are substanitally intact and have not been significantly altered since construction. (Heritage Branch files)
Date significance updated: 23 Sep 11
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Construction years: 1863-1863
Physical description: Coppabella is located on McGuinnity's Gap Road and Coppabella Road, Rosewood, approximately 50km east of Holbrook near Tumbarumba in the Snowy Mountains. The site consists of a blacksmith workshop, stable and family burial plot at Coppabella Station.

The blacksmith's workshop is a rectangular, timber structure. The walls are constructed of split slabs, let into the top plate and rest between battens fixed by wire drawn nails on the bottom plate. All the original plates are axe dressed. The top plates are fixed by iron spikes to a series of axe dressed perimeter posts set in the ground. The roof is corrugated galvanised iron, attached to the original stringy bark sapling farm. The gable ends are hand split weatherboards the floor is earth through-out. The brick chimney extends through the roof.

The sulky horses were shod in the main room while the draft horses, weather permitting, were shod in the yard which separates the blacksmith's from the stables. Water was piped from a reservoir sited on the hill to the west of the blacksmiths. The water ran into a wooden keg which was then carried to the blacksmiths shop.

Inside rough work benches are installed along the accessible walls and the forge itself stands close to the north wall. There is a large bellows labelled 'JOHN C. ONIONS, BRADFORD STREET, BIRMINGHAM, PATENTEE NO. 26855.' The bellows is complete with its water jacket around the nozzle. The forge area as a whole is very complete with layers of wheels, horseshoes and ferrriers' tools, representing perhaps a century of accumulation. The tools are outstanding in terms of their authenticity and variety some being hand made, displaying a good standard of the Smith's art.

The Stables, originally a weatherboard structure has been partially reclad with galvanised iron sheeting. It is timber framed with an impressive central aisle of timber posts. The aisle is flagged with stone and lined with half height doors, swung on forged strap hinges. The stalls are separated by vertical slab partitions. The ceiling and corresponding floor of the hayloft, is bark, supported on poles.

To the north-east of the blacksmithy and stable is the Robinson family plot. There are three graves with two remaining headstones made from local granite enclosed by a railed fence and shaded by elm trees. The graves belong to James Robinson who died in 1878 and James Dawling Robinson who died in 1868. Adjacent to the graves are a number of exotic trees which were planted along the original driveway to the property. (Heritage Branch files)
Former use: Blacksmith shop


Historical notes: The land was granted to Henry Osborne in 1837. The following year Osborne sold the property to James Robinson who was Osborne's neighbour in the Illawarra region. Robinson was subsequently the first to settle in the Tumbarumba region.

Robinson and his wife raised eight daughters and one son. The son later managed the property after Robinsons death in 1868. Most of the daughters married locally and due to the large family, Coppabella was the district's social centre for many years.

In 1872 the property was subdivided and the main portion sold to Henry Whitty, a nephew of Robinson jnr.

IN 1876 Whitty sold to the Rial brothers. However later, the property was resumed by the Bank of Australasia. The history of the property ownership is not known until 1920 when Mr Baker sold Coppabella to Tupra Pastoral Company, owned by the Preswick family of Melbourne. They sold the property to Australian Newsprint Mills in 1983.

In 1985 the Heritage Branch received community representations concerned for the future of the site as it was for sale. At the time the timber industry was replacing much of the traditional agricultural practices in the region. There was a possibility that the site would be cleared and used for pine plantation.

A s.130 order was placed over the site on 2 August 1985 to provide emergency protection of the site. Following discussion with the owner of the site, Australian Newsprint Mills Pty Ltd conservation under the Heritage Act 1977as supported and Interim Heritage Order was placed on 5 December 1986.

In 1987 Australian Newsprint Mills commissioned an archaeology report to asses the structures and recommend a schedule of works. During 1988 and 1989 conservation works were completed on the site.

A Permanent Conservation Order was placed over the site on 2 December 1988. It was transferred to the State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999. (Heritage Branch files)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use (none)-

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act See File For Schedule

Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):
(1) The maintenance of any building or item on the site where maintenance means the continuous protective care of existing material; and
(2) Garden maintenance including cultivation, pruning, weed control, the repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates and garden walls and tree surgery but not extensive lopping;
(3) Changes of use;
(4) maintenance and repair of existing farm fences and the provision of internal subdivision fences;
(5) Maintenance and repair of existing dams, water storage facilities and reticulation systems;
(6) eradication of noxious plants and animals (weed species in natural areas to be removed either by manual means or treated by spot aplication of herbicide to avoid affecst on native vegetation)- excluding those exotics associated with the original avenue and family graveyard.
(7) maintenance and repairs to existing access roads; and
(8) horticultural and agricultural management.
Dec 2 1988
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0062002 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0062002 Dec 88 1786222

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAccess Archaeology Pty Ltd1992Coppabella Blacksmith Conservation

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045070
File number: S90/03355 & HC 33352

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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